When I was asked to write a HyperX Alloy Core RGB review I was excited. When I found out it was a membrane keyboard I was a bit less excited.
Since my first mechanical keyboard in 2013, I’ve never looked back.
That being said, I was determined to really give the HyperX Alloy Core RGB a real thrashing, to prove it’s not as good as my beloved mechanical keyboards.
Knowing that HyperX doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to quality. I went in happy to have my mind changed.
A E S T H E T I C AF
It’s clear that HyperX aims to make a flashy looking product at an affordable price. The Alloy Core looks fantastic if a little simple. It has all the media controls such as volume and mute, next track, pause and so on.
The Alloy Core also has all of the RGB and lighting controls built into the keyboard itself, tucked into the top left corner. I was disappointed to find the Alloy Core didn’t have any interaction with the HyperX Ngenuity software suite.
The RGB lighting is a relatively new venture for HyperX, moving away from their previous red and black aesthetic. But a single click of the RGB pattern button sets your lighting scheme to what fans are calling ‘OG HyperX’.
The Alloy Core keeps the overall design simple, it’s a neat and functional keyboard. It wasn’t until after about three or four days of using the Alloy Core that I noticed the wrist rest design. The edge of the keyboard that faces the user is slopped to a 45-degree angle. This simple angling greatly improves user comfort.
Proving again that a simple neat design thoughtful features trump sharp edges and a high gloss finish.
I’ve established the Alloy Core looks and feels nice to use. But does it perform well? I was dubious about the response times when compared to my usual mechanical keyboard but I was quite surprised.
The feedback from the membrane switch isn’t as satisfying or firm as a mechanical keyboard. But it felt just as responsive and accurate.
The keys don’t need to be as forcefully slammed to get a response. That means that you can strafe, jump, crouch and speed type criticism of your teammates with amazing accuracy.
The only thing really missing from the Alloy Core keystrokes is the satisfying ‘click-clack’ crunch of the keys. The keys don’t have the familiar bouncy feel you’d expect from a membrane keyboard. The Alloy Core sits somewhere between the firm feedback of a mechanical keyboard and quieter membrane keys.
All without losing response time. The Alloy Core raises the bar for what to expect from a membrane keyboard.
As mentioned above, all the media and RGB controls are built into the top panel of the keyboard. And the wrist rest is a welcome throwback to an earlier generation of gaming keyboards. These simple inclusions give the Alloy Core an edge over other entry-level keyboards.
I was reluctant to test the spill-resistant feature, but decided I would ‘for science’. After pouring a small amount of energy drink onto the Alloy Core and walking away, I returned later to find a sticky key surface but a fully functional keyboard.
Another great feature that achieves what it aims to do. However, due to being a membrane keyboard, the Alloy Core is incredibly difficult to clean if you do spill a drink on it. In hindsight, I should have tested the spill resistance with water.
But as I laboured away scrubbing the keys clean, I was wishing I could easily pop the keycaps off like my mechanical keyboard. I’m also disappointed that the Alloy Core has no feature control with the amazing HyperX Ngenuity software. If you’ve read my review of the Pulsefire Core gaming mouse by HyperX, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the software controls.
But HyperX has decided to save the software control features for their Alloy Elite mechanical keyboard range. Disappointing, but maybe a firmware update down the line could see the Alloy Core receive some Ngenuity compatibility.
I went into reviewing the Alloy Core RGB by HyperX optimistic yet sceptical.
After all, I’ve been using god-tier mechanical keyboards for the last five years.
I was surprised by the response time and the simplistic joy of the Alloy Core. It’s a wonderful entry-level keyboard that almost functions as well as a mechanical one. It’s definitely worthwhile if you’re not quite ready to drop the big bucks.
A word of advice, even though it’s spill resistant, try not to spill Monster Energy on it.
The HyperX Alloy Core RGB was reviewed using a unit provided to PowerUp! by HyperX.
Product Name: HyperX Alloy Core
Offer price: $99
Almost as good as mechanical
No software support for the lighting
Great feel and response time